A Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini is alleging that President Akufo-Addo is against the return of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ back on air. According to him, the President is intolerant of any radio station that is too critical of his administration and would do anything to silence them.
Speaking at the 7th edition of the NDCâ€™s Moment of Truth series in Accra on Thursday, December 12, 2019, Alhaji Fuseini, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sagnarigu constituency in the Northern Region, said although the Parliamentary Select Committee had done what it could to ensure that the two private stations returned to the airwaves, there was a higher power frustrating its efforts.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) on Thursday, May 9, 2019, shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, two private radio stations based in Accra for allegedly operating illegally.
According to the NCA, the licence of Radio Gold expired in 2000, while that of Radio XYZ expired in 2016 but they failed to renew them, as required by law.
Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini said although the issues based on which the two stations were shut down were not new in the country, the previous administrations under both the NDC and the NPP did not shut down any media house in the interest of media freedom.
He said all the past Presidents of the country under the Fourth Republic, starting from President Jerry John Rawlings, President John Agyekum Kuffour, President John Evans Atta Mills and President John Dramani Mahama suffered various criticisms from the media, they did not shut down any media house.
He explained that in one of the Parliamentary Select Committeeâ€™s meetings where the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was present, she was confronted with the issue of the shutdown of the two stations.
He said the Minister had said she could not do anything on the matter since Radio Gold had taken the issue to court and therefore would not interfere in the matter pending before a law court.
He explained that management of Radio Gold withdrew the issue from the court and started the process of reapplying for their frequency.
According to him, although the Minister gave the Committee her word of ensuring that the stations returned to air, she later â€œmade a U-turn.â€
â€œWe have reliable information that from the very top, indeed from the president himself, he is opposed to the return of the Radio Gold and XYZ,â€ Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini disclosed.
He said the media space in the country had not suffered any contraction than under the Akufo-Addo led administration.
He added that although the President describes himself as an advocate of free expression, he is rather suppressing free speech and freedom of the media.